Work permits in the UAE: Women can now sponsor their male relatives

Published 2019-08-01 11:40

Until now, only women could benefit from a work permit sponsored by a family member. Husbands could sponsor their wives for a work permit but not the other way round. But, things are changing. As of this month, women will also be able to sponsor their husbands, fathers and adult children for a work permit. This will allow more women to find and accept jobs in the UAE and will increase the pool of workers within the UAE.

The news was announced last Saturday by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Companies will now be able to hire men who are living in the UAE with their wives without going through the process of applying for an independent employment visa. Indeed, women will now be able to sponsor male relatives for a male visa in the UAE.

The requirements to be able to sponsor a family member’s work permit do remain for both men and women, however. Indeed, employed expats must earn at least either AED 4,000 or AED 3000 and be provided with accommodation to be able to sponsor a family member. If one wants to sponsor their parents visa, the requirements are even higher. Indeed, an employed expat needs to earn at least AED 20, 000 or AED 19, 000 and be provided with a big enough accommodation to be able to sponsor their parents. For a single mother to be able to sponsor a child, she should earn at least AED 10,000.

Until now, expat women who found work in the UAE could sponsor their husband’s dependent visa which does not give them the right to work. Indeed, men who followed their wives to the UAE would not be legally allowed to work. This meant that men would be a financial burden on their wives. Women would, therefore, move to the UAE on their own, or not consider the UAE as an option.

According to Gulf News, this move has been welcomed by the expat community within the UAE but also by the local enterprises. For women, this means that they are able to live with their husbands in the UAE while doubling the household income. As for local enterprises, this has been welcomed as this offers a greater talent pool to choose from. Indeed, if a man wanted to work for a local enterprise, he would have to also get a full employment visa because the dependent visa did not give him the right to work. Local enterprises would be a lot less likely, then, to hire an expat as full employment visas also meant medical insurance and the procedures are not only tedious but also costly.